Day 1 in Ecuador 2012

June 23, 2012

Good old hard work. That’s what happened today, as the baker’s dozen IRONMEN rose late (breakfast at 8:00), headed out into Guayaquil to purchase supplies (amazing how we have come to know where the hammers, saws, bungee cords, etc are; not to mention water, Gatorade, and snacks) before heading out to a build site. It was about 12:30 when we arrived at the location, at the top of a ridge. It was a treacherous drive, which at one point forced us out of the vehicles (steep dropoff into an aquaduct on one side, steep bluff on the other, in between, hard-packed dirt with DEEP ruts). Fortunately it was only about a half-mile hike to the site, if even that much. We built a home today for Francisco and Marta. They have owned a Hogar home before, but it had been disassembled, and we were building in front of that site. Suffice it to say that the ground was ROCKY. It was really hard boring holes through the stony soil, and that task alone—getting nine holes about 31 inches deep dug and the posts to support the home placed in them—darn near sapped the strength of us all. But we pushed on, and by about 4:30, we had completed the home. Francisco and Marta have six children; the oldest, a 20-year old daughter, has an infant of her own. One child, a boy named Eloise (?!) has some severe problems; born with club feet which were backward, three surgeries have corrected that problem (somewhat) so that he can walk, but at six he has yet to be toilet trained, and by observation, one can tell he faces other challenges. Please pray for the family! After a cerveza at 2 Degrees South, we returned to Schoenstaat Retreat Center where Nieves served a meal of chicken, potatoes, rice, and succotash. After debriefing, we’re ready to settle in for the night!

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